Greeting and Being Polite in Twi

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How do you say GOOD MORNING in Twi? How do you say GOODNIGHT in Twi? And how do you say HAPPY BIRTHDAY in Twi?

Hi there! You are welcome to third lesson in the Common Twi Expressions series. In this lesson, we look at how to greet and be polite with the Twi dialect of the Akan language.

The Akan people attach great importance to greetings and you are considered impolite if you are someone who tends not to greet people. This lesson, therefore, is very important if you plan not only to learn to speak the language but also want to blend in well with the Akans.

Continue reading beneath the embedded video.

Video Lesson

LV = Long Version

SV = Short Version

EnglishTwiResponse (Twi)
good morningLV: mema wo akye

 

SV: maakye

yaa agya (to an elderly man)

yaa ɛna (to an elderly woman)

yaa anua (to a sibling, age mate or colleague)

good afternoonLV: mema wo aha

 

SV: maaha

yaa agya (to an elderly man)

yaa ɛna (to an elderly woman)

yaa anua (to a sibling, age mate or colleague)

good eveningLV: mema wo adwo

 

SV: maadwo

yaa agya (to an elderly man)

yaa ɛna (to an elderly woman)

yaa anua (to a sibling, age mate or colleague)

welcomeakwaaba!

yaa agya (to an elderly man)

yaa ɛna (to an elderly woman)

yaa anua (to a sibling, age mate or colleague)

please

LV: mepa wo kyɛw

SV: mepaa kyɛw

 
merry Christmasafenhyia pa!afe nkɔ mmɛto yɛn
to someone who is working/engaged in a physical activityLV: mema wo adwuma

 

SV: adwuma dwuma!

adwuma yɛ
take carehwɛ wo ho so yiewo nso saa ara (you too)
what’s up?ɛdeɛn na ɛrekɔ so?ɛnyɛ biribi titire biara o! (nothing much/nothing in particular)
greet your family (members) for mekyea w’abusuafoɔ ma mewɔbɛte (they’ll hear)
to the bereavedLV: mema wo due

 

SV: due!

usually goes with no response but you can also thank the person with (meda wo ase/medaase)
to a woman who just gave birth or someone who has survived an accidentLV: mema wo afirimu/mema wo tiri nkwa

 

SV: afirimu oo!/wo tiri nkwa oo!

LV: meda wo ase (thank you)

SV: medaase

how are you?LV: wo ho te sɛn?

 

SV: ɛte sɛn?

LV: me ho yɛ (I am well/fine)

SV: ɛyɛ (it’s well)

happy birthdaymema wo awoda pa

LV: meda wo ase (thank you)

SV: medaase

goodbye/farewellnante yie

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Tikya Yaw
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18 Responses
  1. petra

    maakye

    i have a request
    whole sentenses and words
    for whole sentences i will never understand it all
    i need to know the language word by word,
    thank you

    1. Yaw

      Yaa Onua Petra

      Never say never! You’ll definitely get there. I do understand that grasping whole sentences at this stage will be difficult. The lessons that include phrases and sentences such as this one is meant for intermediate learners. I get requests from such learners too asking that I publish more phrasal/sentential vocabulary lessons. So I’m doing a lil’ bit of this, and a lil’ bit of that to serve you all.

      Rest assured that more word by word lessons will be published in the coming weeks. Thank you 🙂

  2. Melanie Ballard

    Mema wo akye Yaw! I’ve several Ghanaian friends here in the states. One of my friends, who I met here and used to work with, has since retired in Ghana and I hope to visit him one day soon. I wanted to become acquainted with some basic Twi so I can converse a little when I get there. I’m really enjoying your lessons and appreciate the transcripts for each one. Meda wo ase!

    1. Yaw

      Hi Melanie, that’s a step in the right direction. Ghanaians, including your friends, will love you if you even attempt speaking their language. I wish you all the best and happy to be of help 🙂

  3. Clement Nicole

    Hi Teacher,my name is Nicole a Nigerian but married to a Ghanaian, I really have to learn this language but it’s not been easy because we stay in Germany which the Deutsch language isn’t easy to learn too but I like your lessons and I don’t know if I can get the video on WhatsApp. If yes my WhatsApp number is ##############

    1. Yaw

      Hi Nicole, thanks for your comment. As requested, I’ve sent to you the video of lesson 1. I took the liberty to slightly edit your comment for privacy.

  4. Karolina Rausz

    Would be so kind and advice me where to find more informations about Twi? I’d love to learn it and I’m taking it very seriously, but I’m not sure where to start.
    Many thanks,
    Karolina

  5. This desighn is steller! You certainly know how to keep a reader entertained.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to
    start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Fantastic
    job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that,
    how youu presented it. Too cool!

  6. Tessy

    Hi Teacher my name is Teresa from South Africa and my boyfriend is from Ghana and we always speak English but I want to learn how to speak fante(Ghanaian) language so that one day when I visit him in Ghana I would know how to speak with his people……….I really wish you could help me

  7. Thanks for this important lesson. From malawi but driven closer to Ghana now. Most of times it’s difficult to interact with others simply because we can’t communicate in their local languages. It’s therefore very crucial that one learn at least the basics of other languages. Thanks ones again

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